Union marks 30th anniversary of Peterborough firefighter death

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) today unveiled a memorial plaque marking the 30th anniversary of the death of local firefighter John Humphries.

On 22 March 1989, John, a firefighter in Stanground fire station’s blue watch, lost his life attending a blaze in an industrial estate after a lorry carrying explosives caught fire. The blast injured a further 107 people.

Cameron Matthews, FBU Eastern Region Chair, said:

“For 30 years John’s death has remained a deeply traumatic and heart-breaking event, etched in the souls of many firefighters in the Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service.

“Over the past three decades little had been done in recognition of the horrifying sacrifice made by John and his family. Our members were determined that this could no longer be allowed to continue.”

Since records began, 2,524 UK Firefighters have been killed in the line of duty whilst protecting the public. Their bravery and sacrifice should never be forgotten.

The FBU’s Red Plaque scheme was created as part of the union’s centenary celebrations in 2018, and is funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery. The scheme allows firefighters, communities and the family and friends of those lost to pay tribute to fallen heroes, and to provide a places of reflection and memorial for all time.

Local FBU members have also negotiated the installation of a memorial bell at John’s station, Stanground, which will be rung every year on the anniversary of John’s death.

Cameron Matthews continued:

“In 2018, Cambridgeshire FBU members took the initiative and applied to the Red Plaque scheme and were one of the first to secure a community memorial for our brother John Humphries”

“Poignantly the first fire crew to ring this memorial bell on this 30 year anniversary will be Blue Watch. John’s Watch. On the 22nd March our members will be paying tribute to Peterborough Firefighter, John Humphries. He will never be forgotten in our minds and in our hearts”

Firefighters from across the East of England attended the FBU memorial event on the 30th anniversary of John’s death in Bishops Road Memorial Gardens in Peterborough.




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